How Teeth Grinding Affects Oral Health

October 1, 2019

Tooth GrindingAbout 40 million Americans suffer from bruxism, also known as involuntary teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth is most common during the wee hours of the night during sleep. Unless your partner tells you or you experience a tight jaw and dull headache, you may continue this habit throughout your lifetime.

If gone untreated, your teeth can suffer—as well as your wallet!

Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?

Bruxism is generally caused by an abnormal bite, crooked teeth or stress and anxiety. The disorder can also be a side effect sleep apnea patients experience.

As you grind, your teeth are prone to fracturing. Eventually, this could lead to loss of teeth or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ is inflammation of the jaw, which can cause difficulty chewing and painful problems with jaw and facial muscles.

If you believe you suffer from teeth grinding, we recommend steering clear of alcohol and caffeine before bed, practicing stress management, and visiting your dentist.

What Should I Do If I Grind My Teeth?

mouth guard

It’s best to get the opinion of your dentist before you make any serious changes.

Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and notice signs of wear. Some dentists may prescribe muscle relaxants to deter your jaw from tensing, while others can design a special nightguard to protect your pearly whites.

An effective mouth guard will offer you a sound night’s rest while keeping your jaw in place through the night. The guard works to create a small barrier between your top and bottom teeth so you don’t clench during sleep.

Schedule Your Dental Appointment in Denver

It’s important to visit your dentist twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning, but bruxism is another reason to check-in! If gone untreated, bruxism can create serious oral problems for your smile later in life—so don’t forget to contact us to schedule your next visit.